As You Like It

by: William Shakespeare

Act III, scenes i–ii

The play also adds an interesting twist on the stage convention of cross-dressing as Rosalind decides to use her disguise as Ganymede, in effect, to woo Orlando. The erotic possibilities here are nearly endless, considering that Rosalind dresses as a rather effeminate man and offers to provide Orlando with love lessons so that Orlando may win his beloved Rosalind. The complexities of the situation multiply when we consider that in Shakespeare’s era, Rosalind would have been played by a boy actor. As the audience watches a boy playing a woman who plays a man in order to win a man’s love, the neat borders of gender and sexuality become hopelessly muddled.